Definition of desperate
1a : having lost hope <a desperate spirit crying for relief>b : giving no ground for hope <the outlook was desperate>
2a : moved by despair or utter loss of hope <victims made desperate by abuse>b : involving or employing extreme measures in an attempt to escape defeat or frustration <made a desperate leap for the rope>
3 : suffering extreme need or anxiety <desperate for money> <desperate to escape> <celebrities desperate for attention>
4 : involving extreme danger or possible disaster <a desperate situation>
5 : of extreme intensity < … a desperate languor descended heavily upon her, and she slept … — Elinor Wylie>
Examples of desperate in a sentence
The collapse of her business had made her desperate.
As the supply of food ran out, people became desperate.
We could hear their desperate cries for help.
a desperate struggle to defeat the enemy
He made a desperate bid to save his job.
They made one last desperate attempt to fight their way out.
Origin and Etymology of desperate
Latin desperatus, past participle of desperare —see 1despair
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of desperate
DESPERATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of desperate for English Language Learners
: very sad and upset because of having little or no hope : feeling or showing despair
: very bad or difficult to deal with
: done with all of your strength or energy and with little hope of succeeding
DESPERATE Defined for Kids
Definition of desperate for Students
1 : very sad and worried and with little or no hope <People became desperate for food.>
2 : showing great worry and loss of hope <a desperate call for help>
3 : giving little reason to hope : causing despair <a desperate situation>
4 : reckless because of despair : rash <He made a desperate attempt to escape.>
5 : very severe <The injury is in desperate need of attention.>
Seen and Heard
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